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Travels in the Kurdish Blogosphere

New in Kurdish cyberspace is the announcement of a new Kurdish news agency called Firat News, while there is some critism from some Kurds, as it is currently published in Turkish, it still is an exciting venture for those in Northern Kurdistan (Southeast Turkey). Plans for news in Kurdish are underway for the site. Also Kurdish Lily has posted an announcement of a new Kurdish forum called the Kurdish Youth Center.

Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan regional government of Iraq, recently visited President Bush and wrote a column for the Washington Post, in which he supported the recent U.S.-led operation in Iraq on behalf of the Kurdish and Iraqi peoples. Kurdish reaction has been uniformedly a time-will-tell type attitude. However, in Barzani's meeting with President Bush, the president referred to Northern Iraq as Kurdistan which many Kurds see as a small victory.

Even while the positive press from the Barzani meeting has pleased Kurds, there is still an alarming amount of mis-information about the situation(s) in Kurdistan. Recently the Washington Post was critisized for publishing articles with an anti-Kurd bias. Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes posted a letter that he wrote to a University professor who had published an article on a University webpage that was unfair in its protrayal of the Kurds, accusing them of having a “visceral hatred” for Arabs. Other items in the news that Kurdish supporters have been trying to illustrate the misinformation within are: a Russian researcher stating that there is no oppression of Kurds in Syria, and elaborating on further unrest in Iranian Kurdistan; which have been provided to us from Vladimir of From Holland to Kurdistan. Also there has been some statements made recently from the Arab League that they have never understood Kurdish aspirations of sovereignty, which to those that follow not only the politics of the Arab League but also of the Kurdish peoples comes as no surprise.

Despite the political concerns of the Kurdish peoples that have graced the headlines recently, nothing is more moving than the stories that come from the Kurds themselves. Piling of the Kurdistan Bloggers Union recently posted a personal account of displaced Kurds within Turkey.

“This husband of mine who doesn’t speak anymore was arrested and tortured several times. I don’t know what the charges were. There is always something. Soon after his last arrest, the soldiers came to the village. They brought us all together in the village yard. They asked whether we would finally agree to become guards. We said no. So they burnt down all our houses and forced us to leave. We went from village to village, from one kinsmen’s house to the other. No one took us for more than a couple of days. We came here. Look at the barren walls, the barren rooms. There is nothing. We have nothing. We are nothing. And my husband can’t speak, nor work, nor go out. Possibly, because of torture. “

Displacement of Kurds within Turkey is a serious problem and there is an estimated 4000 villages that have been destroyed within the last decade as part of the Turkish government's policy of “relocation”. Since the Kurds are displaced internally there is not an international law mechanism for institutions like the United Nations to intervene.

There has also been a new addition to the Kurdish blogs this week, a blog entitled Pearls of Iraq, which is written by a woman named Miriam who is working on various non-profit infrastructure programs in the Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan region. This blog will be an interesting one to follow in the coming months.

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